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  • Peter Phipps Fox Point Neighborhood Assn.

Plan commission votes for more development

Planning Commission zoning map. Click here to see changes in your neighborhood.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously June 18 to endorse the city’s new Comprehensive plan adding recommendations that the city Council loosen zoning for parts of the Manton, Summit and Wayland neighborhoods.

Prior to the vote, City Planning director Joe Mulligan said the plan will “position the city for growth that is fair and equitable.”

Zoning changes like the ones added for the three neighborhoods could add more than 20,000 buildable housing units, said deputy plan director Joe Azur.

This seemed to satisfy a number of the speakers at the June 18 meeting who said that the “housing crisis” and the city’s need for more housing for working and lower-income residents.

A series of recommendations to allow triples on lots now zoned for single family homes were applauded during the three-hour hearing as was the end of minimum parking requirements for new developments. 

Planner Tim Shea, who manages engagement programs, said “housing affordability was the top issue in every neighborhood.”

The  Comprehensive Plan now goes to the City Council for a hearing and a final vote.

An effort to delay the June 18 vote was led by the Fox Point Neighborhood Assn. and supported by 10 other neighborhood groups. It failed to sway the five commissioners. Only a few of those groups were represented at the hearing.

FPNA board president Lily Bogosian testified that the zoning changes, if approved, would favor “construction where infrastructure is already stressed.”  In a letter to the commission she said the plan “is pitched to outside developers and newcomers.”

Before her testimony, the commission responded to other objections in her letter: The commission said it was a  “very strong on adaptive reuse” and argued that the city didn’t need a citizen design review committee.”

Chairman Michael Gazdacko said the commission has new authority to review designs from developers. “This board can do that,” he said. 



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